"A definitive ranking of the worst things my child has ever eaten."

What do your kids put in in their mouths while you’re not looking?

Have you ever tried to unwrap a Chupa Chup while your child has a Defcon 1 level meltdown on the supermarket floor?

I have.

See, once upon a time, a lollipop as bribery was my only currency. As a result, I learnt to undo those suckers in under 15 seconds which really, is quite the unrecognised accomplishment.

In fact, my friend recently told me that when her child was younger, she would purchase an entire packet of marshmallows before any shopping expedition and let her daughter consume the entire packet over the duration of the trip so that she got some peace and quiet.

Are either of us proud of the sugar we let our children consume? Well, no, but desperate times etc. I suspect we were both at the time, just trying to keep a lid on our sanity. Just like so many parents.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this series of posts is sponsored by ADA.  But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Plus, a sugary sweet was probably the least of our worries. Along with sugar, our ‘little darlings’ were sticking all kinds of things their mouths, lollipops being the least damaging it would seem.  After crowdsourcing and a quick whip around of the things that fellow parents had found their children sticking in their mouths, I can pass on to you, the top 10:

1. Cat food
2. Cat poo
3. Sand
4. Bath water
5. Cockroaches
6. Toilet water
7. Bark
8. Ants
9. Leaves
10. Grass

Plus, let’s not discount all those times our children were being cared for by others and we weren’t privy to their gross food intake. Times when we didn’t actually realise that they might perhaps be getting SPOILT rotten.

My mother once let it slip that she’d always been leaving a chocolate on the pillow for my son so that, “he’d fall asleep” each day.

Say what now? You do realise sugar isn’t known for its ‘calming’ influences right Mum? Her curt response was, “If his Grandma can’t do it then who can?” NO ONE Mum, no one.

The thing is, children, especially smaller ones, will put things into their mouths that aren’t necessarily good for them. Some of these, we contribute to and really should stop and others, you know what, they’re going to get their hands on, no matter what we do.

I have a son whose greatest pleasure in the world was to eat sand. Big handfuls of it, straight into his mouth. If we caught him, we’d stop it, but those days that he was at kindy and possibly, less critically supervised, I’m pretty sure, judging by the aftermath, he was still indulging.

The thing is, as parents, we are always, ALWAYS trying to do the very best we can for children whilst simultaneously trying to retain our sanity. So yes, at times, I did allow my child to have a hot cinnamon doughnut instead of a bunch of carrot sticks when shopping inside of a megaplex because let’s face it, the term ‘silence is golden’ was not coined by accident.

Check out our gallery of things kids can’t resist putting in their mouths…

Now though, it’s time to spill, who’s the one person in your life that always sneaks sugar to the kids?
The Australian Dental Association is the peak body representing Australian dentists and advocating for oral health. Each year the Association runs Dental Health Week, a campaign designed to educate  and empower Australians towards good oral health.